At a Canadian Mosque, the Call to Prayer Rings Out Alongside Anti-Semitism

While at least one Canadian politician has been boasting of her efforts to obtain permission for her Muslim constituents to broadcast the traditional call to prayer via loudspeaker, Tarek Fateh observes some negative consequences:

On May 16, one Firas Al Najim gave his own call to prayer using a loudspeaker in the parking lot of the Jaffari Islamic Center in the [Toronto suburb] of Vaughan, where he promoted the views of the Iraqi cleric Ayatollah al-Sistani and then launched into tirade against “Zionists.” . . . Al Najim didn’t stop there. He basically asked for the end of the state of Israel. . . . And then came the reference to the “lobbies” that supposedly frame Canada’s policies.

This is what Muslims who have fled the tyranny of Islamic regimes such as Iran and Pakistan had feared. And it happened sooner than anyone expected: the use of megaphones around mosques to spread hatred and to do so under the protection of city bylaws rushed through by a scared bunch of politicians worried that they might be tarred by that obnoxious word Islamophobia that is simply a sword of Damocles hanging over the head of anyone who dare critique the actions of certain Muslims or their clergy.

As for the Jaffari Center’s defense that it has no relationship with Al Najim, Fateh demonstrates that the claim does not hold up to scrutiny. Canadian Islamic organizations, meanwhile, shifted the blame to those concerned about Al Najim’s rant:

What was fascinating about this sad display of hate is the fact that Islamic groups, instead of denouncing Firas Al Najim, chose to attack a local [politician], Gila Martow, who had slammed the hatred disguised as a call to prayer. And in a demonstration of . . . bullying and political cowardice, it was Gila Martow who had to apologize to the mosque, not Faris Al Najim.

Read more at Toronto Sun

More about: Anti-Semitism, Canada, Islam

Strengthening the Abraham Accords at Sea

In an age of jet planes, high-speed trains, electric cars, and instant communication, it’s easy to forget that maritime trade is, according to Yuval Eylon, more important than ever. As a result, maritime security is also more important than ever. Eylon examines the threats, and opportunities, these realities present to Israel:

Freedom of navigation in the Middle East is challenged by Iran and its proxies, which operate in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf, and recently in the Mediterranean Sea as well. . . . A bill submitted to the U.S. Congress calls for the formulation of a naval strategy that includes an alliance to combat naval terrorism in the Middle East. This proposal suggests the formation of a regional alliance in the Middle East in which the member states will support the realization of U.S. interests—even while the United States focuses its attention on other regions of the world, mainly the Far East.

Israel could play a significant role in the execution of this strategy. The Abraham Accords, along with the transition of U.S.-Israeli military cooperation from the European Command (EUCOM) to Central Command (CENTCOM), position Israel to be a key player in the establishment of a naval alliance, led by the U.S. Fifth Fleet, headquartered in Bahrain.

Collaborative maritime diplomacy and coalition building will convey a message of unity among the members of the alliance, while strengthening state commitments. The advantage of naval operations is that they enable collaboration without actually threatening the territory of any sovereign state, but rather using international waters, enhancing trust among all members.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Abraham Accords, Iran, Israeli Security, Naval strategy, U.S. Foreign policy